Wayne’s journey from donor to recipient

Wayne’s journey from donor to recipient

Wayne started donating blood after losing his best friend but it ended up saving his own life.

50-year-old Wayne from the NSW south coast started donating in 2008 following the death of a close friend, Ashley Cooper. Ashley was a V8 Supercar driver who was tragically critically injured during a racing accident.

Ashley was also an organ donor, who went on to save the lives of 7 people. Seeing the difference he had made to others’ lives, Wayne was inspired to do his part too.

“I was trying to work out what I could do, and I decided to start donating blood. I was 37 when I started, and I just think about how much I could have helped others if I had started before that,” Wayne said.

Wayne was a passionate and punctual donor for 8 years, and rarely missed an appointment. Then, in February 2017, a nurse noticed his haemoglobin count had dropped significantly and he was rushed to the hospital.

After multiple scans and tests, the doctors discovered a tumour on his duodenum, which is the shortest segment of the intestine. This had been consistently bleeding but Wayne had no symptoms to suggest he was sick.

Wayne’s surgeon advised, “It’s a slow-growing tumour ... you could have it for 10 years and not know. It’s just a rare thing that could happen to anyone.”

It took a 10-hour surgery to remove the tumour, then Wayne spent three months in hospital with complications. He needed several blood transfusions of his own.

In November 2017, he was cleared of cancer but was no longer eligible to donate due to the type of surgery he’d had. Although Wayne can’t donate anymore, he has a simple message to all Australians:

"After being both a donor and a recipient, I urge everyone to donate if you can. The life you save might just be your own.”

Want to make a difference, just like Wayne? Book in a donation to give life today.